Lucy Bull’s (b. 1990, New York) paintings are visceral works that appeal directly to the senses. Synesthetic fields of shape and color, the paintings are described in sonic, tactile, or even emotional terms that evade rational logic and are unique to each viewer. As their formal attributes function as visual bait, the eye is drawn into the atmospheric spaces of their compositions before encountering a seemingly limitless number of associative openings. Worlds take shape across their varied surfaces and just as quickly fall away again; similarly, just when the act of looking generates optical overload or disruptive dissonance, Bull’s accumulations of marks reveal discernible traces of planning and hard-fought negotiations with her materials, leading the viewer back toward the concrete realities of pigment, medium, and surface. As she engages in these open-ended painterly experiments, Bull makes room for both precision and abandon, inviting viewers to participate in ever-unfinished processes of creation that she choreographs but never fully controls.
Bull has been the subject of solo and two-person exhibitions at the Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai (2023); Pond Society (with Guo Fengyi, 2021); High Art (Arles, 2020; Paris, 2019); Human Resources, Los Angeles (2019); Smart Objects, Los Angeles (2019); and RMS Queen Mary, Mother Culture, Long Beach, California (2017). Recent group exhibitions include 13 Women: Variation I, Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, California (2022); ABSTRACT VOCABULARIES: Selections from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2021); and Present Generations: Creating the Scantland Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio (2021). Her work is in the permanent collections of Baltimore Museum of Art; MAMCO Geneva; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, among other institutions. Bull lives and works in Los Angeles.